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ATI RagePro 3D, VR and MacTell Vision 3D Video Card Comparison
Review date: 4/26/98
Software Controls and Hardware Specifications
Intro | 2D Performance  | 3D Performance | Game Performance  | Movie Playback | Features | Summary
Software Controls

MacTell Vision 3D:
The Control panel for the Vision 3D was similar to the one on the Vision 3D Pro II and was better than you might expect for such a low cost card. Since I'm covering three cards here, see the Vision 3D Pro II controls page for an example of the control panel layout and features. Not all tabs of the 3D Pro II control were included in the lower cost Vision 3D, but the layout and features were similar. I did consider some of the modes in the "recommended" list of refresh rates and resolutions as odd (i.e. 1016x768). Additional settings are found in the "all" listing of the Monitors and Sound control panel.

ATI Xclaim 3D/VR:
The ATI control panel was identical to the one used for the Nexus GA - see the Nexus controls page for more info. The ATI control panel was very complete and included settings for 3D sync, quality and texture compression. There was also a Video Memory manager that displayed current video memory usage for the 2D display, textures and 3D buffers, a nice extra.

I rated the software controls of the 3 cards as follows:

  • ATI Xclaim 3D: 9
  • ATI Xclaim VR: 9
  • MacTell Vision 3D: 8


Hardware Specifications


ATI RagePro 3D/VR Specifications:

  • Graphics Engine: ATI RagePro (64-Bit)
  • 230 Mhz RamDac (integrated in RagePro chip)
  • Up to 120 Hz refresh rate
  • 4 MB of 10ns SGRAM tested (expandable to 8 MB)
    (VR avail in 2MB & 4MB fixed and upgradeable versions)
  • Quicktime/Quickdraw/Quickdraw 3D support
  • Quicktime Video acceleration/scaling
  • Max res: 1600x1200, thousands colors (3D ver. only),
                  1152x870 millions colors (75 Hz)
  • Mac and VGA Monitor Connectors on 3D version, Mac only on VR card.
  • For a full list of specifications, see ATI's 3D and VR product pages.

Requires: PowerPC Mac with available PCI slot, System 7.5.5 or higher, Quicktime 2.5 or higher and Quickdraw 3D 1.5.1 or higher. 16 MB of RAM is required, since Quickdraw 3D requires 16 MB of RAM


MacTell Vision 3D (S3 Virge) Specifications:

  • Graphics Engine: S3 Virge (64-Bit)
  • 140 Mhz RamDac
  • Up to 100 Hz refresh rate
  • 4 MB of 40ns EDO Dram (not expandable)
  • Quicktime/Quickdraw/Quickdraw 3D support
  • Quicktime Video acceleration/scaling
  • Max res: 1280x1024, 256 colors, 1152x870 thousands colors, 1016x768 (?) millions colors
  • VGA Monitor Connector only
  • For a full list of specifications, see MacTell's Vision 3D product page.

Requires: PowerPC Mac with available PCI slot (per web page). 16 MB of RAM is required, since Quickdraw 3D requires 16 MB of RAM. Although not mentioned on the web page, I assume the same Quickdraw 3D and Quicktime requirements apply to the Vision 3D as to the ATI cards.


Based on the hardware design, features and performance, I rated each card as follows:

  • ATI Xclaim 3D: 8
  • ATI Xclaim VR: 9
  • MacTell Vision 3D: 6.5

I gave the VR an extra point for the video capture capability, but I was not able to test that feature.

A wrap-up of the review with details on availability is on the summary page.
 


Index of ATI RagePro 3D, VR and MacTell Vision 3D Review

Intro | 2D Performance  | 3D Performance | Game Performance  | Movie Playback | Features | Summary

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